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Central Statistical Office

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the Central Statistical Office performed against its key targets for 1992–93; and what changes have been made for 1993–94.

The Central Statistical Office's performance against its key targets for 1992–93 is described in the agency's annual report and accounts, which are being laid before the House and published today. The CSO met all 20 of its performance targets relating to the quality of economic statistics and overall met 30 out of 33 targets set for the year. There were significant reductions in the scale of revisions to key economic statistics and in balancing items in the sectoral accounts.These improvements continue the significant progress seen in the quality of economic statistics since the formation of the CSO as a separate department in 1989 and its establishment as an executive agency in 1991. The staff of the CSO are to be congratulated on seeing through these substantial developments.The CSO's key targets for 1993–94 are set out in the "CSO Programme Strategies 1993–96", a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. As before, these targets cover the timeliness of published statistics, the size of revisions, the coherence of key economic statistics, the response rates for statistical inquiries, action to minimise the load on respondents, reponse times to public requests for information and the CSO's running costs, efficiency improvements and receipts. A number of the targets have been tightened for 1993–94 in recognition of the improvement in CSO performance.